Thursday, February 03, 2011

Norbulingka Insitute, Dharamsala

Recommended by both my guidebook and our hotel manager, we went to visit the Norbulingka Insitute, a short drive outside of Dharamsala. This institute aims to preserve Tibetan culture, particularly its arts and crafts. Through the traditional Tibetan entryway with its painted doorframe, I could already see the gardens that gave the site its tranquility (Norbulingka means “jewel garden” in Tibetan). Here, flat rocks were stacked neatly to form banks along the flowing water. Others were placed alongside each other to form a pavement, on which the dappled light danced. Stones formed an altar, from which streamers of prayer flags were hung. Women, part of the 435 people employed here, picked up fallen leaves by hand. Benches were scattered throughout, providing a place to admire and reflect. Modeled after a Japanese garden, the landscape emphasized a feeling of tranquility, so different from the hustle and bustle of chaotic Delhi, where we were just two days prior.

See more photos of the Norbulingka Institute on my Flickr Dharamsala page

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